Do You Need Stimulant Detox?
Medically Verified: 2/1/24
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
If you’re addicted to some kind of stimulant, you may wonder whether or not you need stimulant detox. While some drugs produce life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, it’s unlikely to experience these complications while withdrawing from stimulants. However, the most difficult part of stimulant withdrawal is coping with the emotional and physical symptoms.
Whether you’re addicted to prescription or illicit drugs, it’s possible that you need stimulant detox. Getting professional help makes the process a lot more comfortable and tolerable – increasing the chances that you’ll stay sober throughout the withdrawal timeline. By understanding the signs, symptoms, and effects of stimulant withdrawal, you can determine whether or not you or a loved one is in need of help from a stimulant detox facility.
Stimulant Abuse and Addiction
Stimulant drugs increase the functioning of many neurotransmitter systems in the brain resulting in heightened energy, awareness, and alertness. Due to increased activity in the brain and body, these drugs also increase a person’s heart rate and blood pressure. Other effects of stimulant abuse include decreased appetite, difficulty sleeping, talkativeness, picking at the skin, euphoria, and anxiety. Some popular stimulants of abuse include:
- Methamphetamine (meth, crystal meth, ice)
- Adderall, Vyvanse, and Ritalin
These drugs are all addictive if abused, even the ones that are prescribed by a doctor. People who are addicted to these types of drugs may exhibit abnormal or disrupted sleep patterns, rapid weight loss, malnutrition, compulsive behaviors, paranoia, and other addictive qualities. Since stimulants produce a surplus of dopamine – a feel-good chemical – in the brain, it’s easy to see why these drugs become so addictive if used over time. In fact, stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine are among some of the most commonly abused substances in the United States.
Stimulant Withdrawal Symptoms and Effects
Like other substances that boost dopamine levels and change brain activity, stimulant abuse may lead to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms produce the opposite effects of stimulants, so it’s normal for people to experience high levels of fatigue and depression.
Stimulant Withdrawal Symptoms
While the symptoms of stimulant withdrawal are not typically dangerous or life-threatening, they can be extremely unpleasant. These symptoms include:
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Mood swings, depression, and irritability
- Difficulty concentrating
- Impaired memory
- Increased appetite
- Suicidal thoughts
- Drug cravings
- Vivid nightmares
These psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms are difficult to cope with and are especially difficult to remain sober through, which is why it’s so important to find help from a stimulant detox near you.
Stimulant Withdrawal Timeline and Side Effects
Many stimulants are short-acting, so users may begin feeling the effects of withdrawal as soon as they stop using and the effects of the drugs wear off. During the first 12 hours, users will typically experience a “crash”, characterized by a long period of sleep, lack of energy, and depression. However, the crash is over, people may experience worsening symptoms for up to four days. Although these symptoms subside after several days, some post-acute symptoms, such as drug cravings, paranoia, and irritability, can last for several weeks and months.
The timeline of these effects depends heavily on which drug was being abused and for how long. For example, meth withdrawal usually lasts far longer than cocaine withdrawal since meth has a much longer half-life and produces a longer, more intense high.
Perhaps the biggest danger of stimulant withdrawals is the symptoms that are psychological. For example, stimulant withdrawal is associated with severe, long-lasting depression and suicidal thoughts. These are dangerous in themselves, but many people with severe stimulant addictions will also experience paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions, making them a danger to themselves and others. However, having immediate access to the medical staff at a stimulant detox makes a huge difference and can help keep patients safe during this difficult time.
The Benefits of Stimulant Detox
Drug detox centers in Charlotte, North Carolina provide professional monitoring and medical care which is an important part of successful detox. The mental and emotional symptoms that occur while withdrawing from stimulants are difficult and sometimes impossible, to deal with. Having a professional and supportive environment during this time helps alleviate some of this burden.
Depending on the severity of a patient’s symptoms, he or she may receive pharmacotherapy during stimulant detox. Although there is no single FDA-approved medication that specifically targets stimulant withdrawal symptoms, there are medications that help alleviate some of the side effects. Patients may take antidepressants, sedatives, benzodiazepines, or antipsychotics to help reduce symptoms of depression, insomnia, agitation, delusions, and hallucinations.
During stimulant detox, patients also have access to a clinical team comprised of experienced mental health counselors and therapists who can help them overcome drug cravings, depression, and anxiety. Clinical treatment may consist of one-on-one counseling, group therapy, and 12-Step facilitation. Your progress in detox will help you and your therapist come up with a treatment plan that meets your specific needs. This treatment plan not only consists of detox, but it outlines drug rehab programs and aftercare planning as well.
Stimulant Detox in North Carolina
Life-threatening complications are rare during stimulant withdrawal, but it’s still better to be safe than sorry. Plus, the psychological cravings and mental side effects of drug abuse are so strong that many people continue using to avoid them. Instead of risking it, you should seek help from a stimulant detox.
Our drug and alcohol detox offers stimulant detox services in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our team is dedicated to offering patients a holistic, mind-body-soul, approach to treating addictions. We promise to be by your side every step of the way, from intake and detox to residential treatment and aftercare services. If you or a loved one is addicted to stimulants and needs help quitting for good, contact us today to learn about your treatment options.